I just discovered something very interesting. Swansea, Massachusetts, a place where I have very deep family roots, was founded by the Welsh! Rev. John Myles, the founder of the First Baptist Church of Wales, settled in the area in 1662 with some of his congregation to escape religious persecution. He named the town after his hometown of Abertawe (Swansea), and established The First Baptist Church of Massachusetts. With all the towns in the surrounding area with sea, ocean, or river in their names, I never gave a thought that it could have been a name carried from elsewhere. The town I always associated with French Canadians, Native American, and Portuguese is, in fact, a Welsh town invaded by French Canadians and Portuguese. I give us Natives a pass, because we were there first…she said tongue firmly in cheek.
Anne, My family, fathers side, stem from the Swansea Valley, Ystradgynlais, to be exact. I was delighted to see you enthusiasm over the connection with Wales, there are many such others I have been aware of but never noted unfortunately. One interesting fact you may be interested to know is the number of signatories of the Declaration of Independence who have been traced as having Welsh heritage, Sixteen of the original fifty-six. Here’s the link to wiki list of famous Americans with Welsh connections.
I did know that 16 signers were of Welsh ancestry. Thanks so much for the link.